What the hell? Are Democrats, Trump supporters, and NeverTrump Republicans all on the same page? What kind of madness is this?
For one of the first times since the inauguration, President Trump appears to have made a decision that pleases almost everyone. By choosing Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster as his new national security adviser, Trump won praise from all corners of the political spectrum. Whether that means he made a really great choice or merely a “safe” one, we can’t necessarily say, but it’s refreshing to see everyone take a (short) break from fighting over Trump’s decisions.
While news reports reveal that Republicans like Tom Cotton and John McCain lobbied the White House on behalf of McMaster, this pick seems to fall in line with Trump’s basic preferences. The president appears to value two things when it comes to his cabinet officials: Loyalty and strong military experience. A few of his picks, like Betsy DeVos and Rex Tillerson, were outliers, but most of them fall into one of those two categories.
McMaster clearly does. The career military veteran rose through the ranks of the Army without always being a go-along-to-get-along sort of character. Perhaps his greatest claim to fame was a book he authored in 1997 called “Dereliction of Duty,” where he criticized the Joint Chiefs of Staff for not standing up to the political establishment during the Vietnam War.
“He’s a man of tremendous talent and tremendous experience,” Trump said as he introduced his pick. “I watched and read a lot over the last two days. He is highly respected by everyone in the military, and we’re very honored to have him.”
Hopefully, this choice can help the White House move beyond the controversy generated by Michael Flynn. McMaster doesn’t seem to have the same strong ideological views as his predecessor, and that should be enough to set some minds at ease inside the Beltway.